3 Things Employees Cannot Live Without

“Rumor has it you got advisor of the year. Congratulations.” This was a sterile email I received from my boss in 2008.  I still wonder why my boss didn’t walk the 50 feet from her office, to my office, to personally congratulate me on this statewide award. Well, I actually know why. I worked in

Stop Letting Others Violate Your Boundaries

Completely drained and in tears, I realized I had been doing a terrible job setting boundaries. My time was no longer my own because every time someone needed me I said, “Yes”. It wasn’t that people intentionally violated my boundaries, it was that I was teaching them do it, allowing them to do it.  I

The BEST Thing I Learned in Grad School

Grad school was no picnic for me. Not only was I required to conduct research and write a 63-page thesis (not including the appendices and references), I had to pass a 4+ hour comprehensive exam that required citing sources. It was A LOT of work AND totally WORTH IT!  Years later I still find myself

LEARNING FROM GIRAFFES: Shhhh …. (Part 5 of 5)

Giraffes aren’t very vocal creatures.  In fact, giraffes are often silent, and when they do vocalize, it’s quite quiet, like humming or snoring. I’m not suggesting you take up snoring at work (but humming could be okay).  What I AM suggesting is that there are benefits to being a little more silent and more selective

LEARNING FROM GIRAFFES: Vision (and mission) (Part 3 of 5)

Giraffes can see close, far, and wide thanks to their large, bulging eyes. Their amazing eyesight allows them to see what is in front of them AND what is in the distance and around them. (Did you know giraffes can see their feet when they look straight ahead?) Imagine having giraffe-like vision in your personal

BECOME A BETTER COWORKER: Define and Communicate Boundaries (Part 4 of 4)

What boundaries are we taught to respect throughout our lives?  A quick brainstorm produced this list: Drive on this side of the dotted line. Obey the speed limit. Stay in your yard. Listen to your parents. Don’t swear at work. Don’t take what isn’t yours. Do what you were hired to do. and right now,

BECOME A BETTER COWORKER: Don’t Be Annoying (Part 3 of 4)

Let’s call her Lucy.  She walked around work like she was everyone’s best friend. She took every opportunity to publicly let others know how exceptional she was at her job. She presented herself as the most creative, most productive, most energetic person in the office. She answered her phone, “It’s a great day in [insert

BECOME A BETTER COWORKER: Latitude for Mistake-making (Part 2 of 4)

If you are perfect, stop reading. There is nothing in this article for you. On second thought, this article is probably more for you than it is for anyone else. (Because no one is perfect.) If you make mistakes, keep reading. If you struggle when coworkers screw up, keep reading. If you are fine working

  • Photo credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi

The Importance of Asking Questions: Show Interest (Part 6 of 6)

As the last article in this series of The Importance of Asking Questions, I want to get back to basics. The basics of healthy, helpful conversation. I have become acutely aware of the number of conversations I have that are one-way conversations. The type of conversation that are primarily about the other person. The kind